An official announcement is forthcoming, but Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys are set to name Roddie Romero as their guitarist, taking the place of Jimmy Domengeaux, who died January 25, in an early morning motorcycle accident.
Romero, accordionist/frontman of his own band under the same name, is no stranger to the stringed instrument. He’s whipped it out on more than one occasion with his band. And there’s no conflict here, as Romero’s band has been in limbo lately (save for a couple of previously booked gigs).
A Tribute to Jimmy Domengeaux Fest (a.k.a. JimmyFest) takes place Sunday, April 18, 2-11 p.m., at Back-to-Back, located in the Northgate Mall in Lafayette. Call for more info: 318-332-6114. Proceeds go to a trust to help the late guitar player’s daughter, Javen Domengeaux. Her father played with most of the bands in the line-up, which includes Sheryl Cormier, Filé, Hadley Castile and many more.
Courtney Granger, teenage fiddler and grandson of Dewey Balfa has his first solo recording on Rounder Records scheduled for a fall street date.
Suffice it to say, Louisiana’s festival season kicks off in a major way this month. Lafayette undergoes its annual metamorphosis with Festival International de Louisiane (FIL), April 20-25: the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival delivers its knockout music punch over April’s last two weekends; and the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival (BBCF) continues to bring Cajun and zydeco headliners to the same main stage April 3-May 2.
Anyway, about Jazz Fest, much of the I-10 traffic between Lafayette and NOLA will probably be clogged with Acadiana-area bands, as a host of them have gigs at FIL and BBCF-and some on the same day, Check out Buckwheat Zydeco, Wayne Toups, Chubby Carrier and Li’l Brian & The Zydeco Travelers on Friday April 23; C.J. Chenier on Saturday April 24; Zachary Richard, Geno Delafose, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and Jonno Frishberg on April 25; Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, The Creole Zydeco Farmers and Rosie Ledet on Thursday April 29; Warren Caesar and Boozoo on April 30; Beau jocque and BeauSoleil on Saurday May 1; and T-Mamou, Thomas “Big Hat” Fields, Willis Prudhomme and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas to close out the Fest on May 2.
Jazz saxman Santy Runyun’s 92nd birthday will be celebrated April 15, with what’s become a big traditional jam session the last couple of years at Antler’s in downtown Lafayette. Special guest Jerry Coker is expected to wail (among others). A $5 cover benefits the University of Southwestern Louisiana’s jazz music program.
Peter Schwarz, bassist/fiddler with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, celebrared his 31st birthday on Easter Sunday in style – read: white “Cajun Reeboks.” The rubber boots were a gift from Terry Angelle and Martha Broussard at a festively decorated Whiskey River Landing, home of Cajun music’s Sunday fais do do.
Rhino Records, known for-its stellar compilations, has a “best of” Zachary Richard in the works with a late summer release set. Photographer Kent Hutslar has the CD’s artwork down.
Aldus Roger & the Lafayette Play- boys came out of retirement and have released a collection of their hits, including “Johnnie Can’t Dance,” “Marie,” “KLFY Waltz” and “Hicks Wagon Wheel.”
Sonny Landreth, who is playing a greatly anticipated set at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on Thursday, April 29 at 11:25 a.m. on the Ray-Ban Stage, was recently featured on Hawaiian slack key guitarist Led Kaapana’s latest disc, Waltz of the Wind. Landreth’s slide work can be heard on the cuts “Les Flammes d’Enfer” and “Ku’u Ipo Onaona.”
Cory McCauley and his Evangeline Aces have a new self-titled release out on Fais Do Do Records. The songs are traditional Cajun music in both the cover tunes and the originals.
Cajun balladeer John DuBois, returns as a cabaret singer on his upcoming release, Back on the Town, with’ scores written by John Wallowitch, (who penned New York, New York and “Back on the Town”.) DuBois is recovering from a recent illness, and we’re glad to say, he’s on the mend.
Likewise, Rosie Ledet’s latest, I’m a Woman. Chances are the dust won’t settle on this one… both will play the Jazz Fest on Thursday April 29 on the Fais Do Do Stage: The Creole Zydeco Farmers at 4:30 p.m. with Rosie following at 6 p.m. Don’t miss ’em.
After finishing up the Mardi Gras Records project, Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers have once again signed with Rounder Records.
One of the fastest growing Cajun bands in the area, T-Mamou, has scheduled some time in the recording booth at Al Berard’s Garage Studio in Cecilia. Of course, Berard’s the fiddler in the band, so the rates should be good. Other members include: Bob Reed, accordion; Sam Broussard, guitar; Kyle Hebert, bass; and Keith Blanchard, drums.
More Mamou stuff… the Mamou Prairie Band recently signed with Rounder Records … Lanor Records recently released Cajun Classics by guitarist Carroll Benoit.